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page content flow.

site menu then content or the other way around?

6:22 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I thought this would be the best place to ask SEO questions yeah? hope you guys can help..

I have a website where the layout is this: header, then 3 columns:
left column: site nav menu
center: content
right column: some advertising

and in the html source code, that is exactly how the source code flows... so the bots would see my site menu first, then my content...

but what i've done recently is change the source code's flow to this:
left column
right column

(though the website still LOOKS the same as before, just the flow of the source code is different, through use of CSS)

the reasons to why I did this were:
- 1 - I always thought as bots read through the page, from top to bottom, the further down the page, the content becomes less relevant and, and since the nav menu is only links to within my site, it's not very important, content should be more important? no?

- 2- a competing site on the same keywords has similar flow, where they have content first then their navigation, and they rank #1 for most of the keywords im after

well, after all those changes, my site slowly drop in ranks, after about a week, my site has dropped 8 positions, from 8 to 16.

Was I wrong all this time? should I change the source flow to the way it was before? or should I wait a little longer? reason im waiting now is i thought it's only dropping because those changes were quite big and the bots have not really optimized my site yet? maybe it'll slowly climb back up again?

I hope to hear some expert opinions on this, and thanks in advance :)


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